This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Although airline passenger rights in the US aren’t quite as extensive as those in Europe, certain protections do exist here in the States. When carriers are found in violation of these rules, the US Department of Transportation hands out fines — and American, Delta and Frontier recently were on the receiving end for a variety of reasons.

American Airlines

American was handed a fine of $250,000 for failing to issue refunds to passengers in a timely manner in the first half of 2015. AA blamed the delay on discrepancies in the computer systems being integrated following its 2013 merger with US Airways. Under 14 CFR 259.5 9(b), airlines have to issue refunds within 20 days. The fine statement did not say how long American was taking to issue refunds, but called its actions “unfair and deceptive.”

Delta Air Lines

Delta received a $200,000 fine after being caught fudging its baggage-handling numbers. The DOT told Delta last year that its baggage reporting policy was non-compliant. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Delta failed to properly report damage when replacing damaged bags with a new piece of luggage. Delta didn’t use the reporting program required by the government, known as World Tracer. If the airline had properly reported the damaged bags, its 2012-2013 baggage ranking would have likely dropped from fourth to fifth.

Delta was also slapped with a $90,000 fine in March, for failing to offer adequate food service during extended tarmac delays at New York-JFK and Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL). And a week ago, the airline found itself on the receiving end of a Twitter tirade from conservative pundit Ann Coulter.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier received the largest fine of the bunch. It’ll have to hand over $400,000 for failing to solicit volunteers before bumping passengers in cases of over-sold flights, along with failing to assist disabled passengers in getting on and off aircraft, or within airport terminals. The Denver Business Journal reports that Frontier has promised to update its policies in response to these incidents.

Over-sold flights have been in the news a lot this year, as in the United Airlines case of the dragging incident and subsequent injury of Dr. David Dao. Since that incident, United and Delta announced they would dramatically increase the maximum compensation offered to volunteers during over-sells.  Dallas-based Southwest has promised to stop over-selling flights completely.

Featured photo by Kathryn Scott Osler / Getty Images

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.